2001 – 2002 Meetings

Date: October 11-13, 2001
Title: “A Taste for Maps,” The Fourteenth Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography
Speakers: Mary Pedley, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
David Woodward, Peter van der Krogt, and Markus Heinz
Location: Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library

This year’s lectures concern the history of the map trade, and in particular the effort of early modern European map publishers to finance and market their maps. The featured speaker will be Dr. Mary Pedley, of the William L. Clements Library of the University of Michigan. She will deliver three lectures on the French and British map trade. A roundtable of shorter papers on the Italian, Dutch, and German trades will be presented on Saturday morning by Drs. David Woodward, Peter van der Krogt, and Markus Heinz.

Date: October 13-16, 2001
Title: International Map Collectors’ Society Annual Symposium
Speakers: Hosted by the Newberry Library, the Adler Planetarium, and the American Geographical Society Collection (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee)
Co-sponsored by the Chicago Map Society and the Map Society of Wisconsin
Location: Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library

Participation in this event, commencing Saturday at 1:00 p.m., requires that you pay a registration fee.

Date: November 13, 2001
Title: Automation and Cartography at the United States Geographical Service: 1950-1970
Speaker: Patrick H. McHaffie, Acting Chair, Department of Geography, DePaul University
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The USGS was of central importance to the mapping community at large during this period, serving as a major employer, place of technological innovation, and a source for public domain map series and data. The agency also had important and documented ties to other federal and state agencies and private sector firms, serving as a catalyst and model for scientific standardization, technological progress, and professionalization of the mapping community. In nearly all instances, the researcher places his trust in primary sources with a heavy reliance on the oral narrations of individuals who were intimately involved with the USGS between 1950 and 1970. These oral histories in themselves serve as overwhelming testimony to the scope and scale of change (technological, organizational, and scientific) that took place at the U.S.’s principal mapping agency in the last half of the 20th century.

Date: December 13, 2001
Title: Exhibit Lecture and Tour: Cartographic Treasures of the Newberry Library
Speakers: Robert Karrow, Curator of Maps, and James Akerman, Director, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Join Bob Karrow and Jim Akerman for their reflections on the process of selecting the maps included in Cartographic Treasures of the Newberry Library, a major exhibit that will be on display at the Newberry from October 2001 until January 2002. Their remarks will be followed by a guided tour of the exhibit.

Date: January 17, 2002
Title: The Language of Maps
Speaker: Robert Karrow, Curator of Maps, The Newberry Library
Location: Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library

We talk about the language of flowers and the languages of music and art. Is there a language of maps? If there is, how does it work and what kinds of ideas can it communicate? Is it a universal language, understandable by members of many different cultures? How is it related to the bits of nature language usually inscribed on maps? Join the Newberry Library’s Curator of Maps, Robert Karrow, for an illustrated slide talk that explores these philosophical questions.

Date: February 21, 2002
Title: Field Checking Maps: A Veteran’s Tale
Speaker: Dennis McClendon, Design Director, Chicago Cartographics
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Field checking is something that’s not really covered in the cartography textbooks, but it’s invaluable for serious large-scale mapping. The dilemmas faced by a conscientious and thoughtful field checker illuminate many issues: what qualifies as a street? What’s the proper name for a particular landmark? What’s the point of numbering an unmarked highway? Join veteran Chicago cartographer (and field checker) Dennis McClendon as he discusses how he has grappled with these and other issues in a variety of contexts.

Date: March 21, 2002
Title: Terra Incognita: Mapping the Calumet
Speaker: Paul Petraitis, Ridge Historical Society
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Paul Petraitis, curator at the Ridge Historical Society, and frequent lecturer on range of local historical topics will present “Terra Incognita: Mapping the Calumet.” Join us for an entertaining exploration of the history of the Calumet region seen through printed and manuscript maps from the 1670s through the present day.

Date: April 18, 2002
Title: Maps and Mother Goddesses in Modern India
Speaker: Sumathi Ramaswamy, American Council of Learned Societies Frederick Burkhardt Fellow
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Focusing on 20th-century India, this talk presents an alternate tradition of mapping territory in which the nation is cartographically presented to its subject-citizens not as “empty social space,” but as “Mother India,” the Indian nation imagined as woman, mother, goddess. Through an analysis of such “bodyscapes” of Mother India, Sumathi Ramaswamy explores what is at stake in cartographically deploying the female body to map national territory; and how such bodyscapes, even as they systematize a particular visual image of India, also consolidate the notion of the nation as motherland.

Date: May 9. 2002
Title: Portolan Charts: An Illustrated Lecture
Speaker: Richard Pflederer
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Portolan charts represent a beautiful nexus of cartography and art, a fact which sometimes obscures their historical significance. Richard Pflederer will report on a recently completed catalogue of the collection of portolan charts of the British Library, now being extended to include the holdings of the Newberry.

Richard Pflederer is an Elgin native and a graduate of Northwestern University. His study of cartography and history, once an avocation, is his main activity in retirement from an international business career. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of the Society for the History of Discoveries and the International Map Collectors’ Society. He lectures at various institutions in Virginia where he now lives.